Known for his heavy passion towards maintaining and repairing the environment, film star Leonardo DiCaprio has recently revealed a technology that is hoping to globally spot illegal activity occurring in oceans. The technology is called Global Fishing Watch and was released to the public on Thursday during a conference that was hosted by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
“Today, this unprecedented technology is available to everyone in the world. I encourage everyone to go check it out,” DiCaprio announced.
The technology is now available at GlobaFishingWatch.org, where it claims to provide a solution to the growing issue of illegal fishing. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, illegal fishing now accounts for a yearly loss of $23.5 billion and represents 35% of the global wild marine catch.
“This platform will empower citizens across the globe to become powerful advocates for our oceans,” DiCaprio stated.
Global Fishing Watch will work by using satellite technology combined with radar aboard boats to allow people to spy on illegal fishing hotspots around the world while following the path of up to 35,000 commercial fishing vessels. The idea itself has cost $10.3 million while taking 3 years in total to develop and build. Majority of the funding ($6 million) was provided by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
The data has been made available for free, resulting from a deal negotiated between Oceana and its partners.
The government of Kiribati has already begun to use the technology and have successfully exposed a case of illegal fishing activity that occurred in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. The area had been declared off limits on January 1st 2015. The owner of the vessel was forced to pay a $1 million fine and then went on to provide a $1 million donation.